2) Don’t pick a Kewl Celebrity Baby
a celebrity names a kid something, it seems like the
name is already speeding down the slippery slope into
the Swamp of Trendy and Overused. Lookit the profusion
of Avas and Liams and Pipers and Irelands out there
now. So I realize Maddox is a RILLY CUTE name, but try
Plus, many celebs
exist, in part, to fill a void in the baby-naming realm….
See, they do what we Mere Mortals can’t and shouldn’t…
they name their kids things like Fuddy
(Damon Wayans) and Sistine Rose (Sylvester
Stallone) and Saffron Sahara and Tallulah
Pine (Simon and Yasmin LeBon) and Wylie
Quinn Anna Rose (the dude from MacGyver) and
Speck Wildhorse (John Mellencamp) and
Elijah Bob Patricius Guggi Q (Bono).
Celebrities, and by association, their children, are
somehow magically outside of the “normal”
range of kid names. But if Fuddy had to go get a job
in customer service like the rest of us…. Wow.
And, in a similar vein, use common sense if you want
to name your kid after someone famous. “I named
her Audrey after Audrey Hepburn” is going to cause
enough eye rolling, because there is NO WAY a child
could live up to that. But having a little Keanu or
Oprah or Beyonce or Cuba will just invite snickers and
titters. And imagine how someone who named their son
Kobe a couple years ago feels right now. Sheesh.
3) Don’t name the child after where it was
Poor, poor little Brooklyn
Beckham. Can you imagine what he’s going to
go through when he has to write the inevitable English
class essay about his name? Or remember the Jay Leno
joke about how, when Debbie
Rowe was asked about her and Michael Jackson’s
daughter’s name, she replied that they named her
Paris after where she was conceived…? Jay cracked
something along the lines of “Because that’s
MUCH easier to spell than In Vitro!”
Malibu Johnson or Vegas Smith or Reseda Daniels or
Cheviegh Backseat Simmons are going to have to explain
time and time again that they are named after the place
where their parents Did It. Fun. There’s enough
TMI in the world… don’t make it part of
your child’s name.
4) Don’t name your child after “V.C.
Or Dungeons and Dragons characters, or Lord of the
Rings characters, or Japanime characters, or Disney
characters, or Star Wars characters or- Enough already
with super-faux-goth-princess-of-darkness names. The
world doesn’t need another Heaven, Leigh, (or
Heaven Leigh), Logan, Jory, Raven, Drake, Arden, or
Willow. And see the unintended message re: soap opera
5) Don’t name your child wondrously ethnic
names if you are not of said ethnicity just because they “sound
pretty.” Don’t pilfer other cultures.
On one hand, there is an old friend of THTM. He
and his wife just had Jessica Kai – both are of
Japanese and Hawaiian descent, so “Kai”
actually means something to them and their families.
On the other hand, take one of my many cousins. She
named her daughter Cheyanne (sic). Is she Native American?
Is her daughter? Heck, no! It just “sounded pretty.”
Or then there’s the acquaintance who gave her
two sons super-Welsh first names… but her last
name is Hernandez. They sound like multi-ethnic cartoon
characters! Would it make sense to name a kid Kentaro
Jiro Cohen if you are of no Asian decent whatsoever,
and have no links to the culture from which the names
It’s not only obtuse, but it’s bordering
on offensive if you name your child the Swahili word
for “joy” when you have no other relation
to that culture or people. Look at the character Dee
in Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use”:
when Dee discovers that it’s suddenly trendy to
embrace her African roots, and jumps on the Black Cultural
Awareness bandwagon, she changes her name to Wangero
Leewanika Kemanjo… which is a muddle of various
African names/languages – Kenyan, Ugandan, etc.
– and serves to show Dee as a shallow and uniformed
person. Someone who names their child Aolani (because
ooooh, isn’t it PRETTY, and some website said
it was the Hawaiian word for “heavenly cloud”
and sounds perfect with the middle name we picked out,
Jade!) but yet has no real connection with Hawaiian
culture, is equally as shallow and uninformed. Cut it
p.s. “Dakota” is NOT a “Native American”
6) Don’t give the kid a surname-as-first-name
if the surname has no relevance to you or your family.
The Last-Name-As-First (or Middle) – Name
thing goes back centuries. Eliza Jane Wilder Thayer
(Laura Ingalls Wilder’s sister-in-law) named her
son Wilder to carry on her family name. Helen Keller
was given a family name, Adams (although it was supposed
to be Everett, but her father messed up, but that’s
another story) for her middle name. But it just sounds
silly and/or pretentious to name a child Finn, Parker,
Taylor, Tyler, McGillis, McLaughlin, or whatever when
the name has nothing to do with your family.
7) Don’t give your daughter a fluffy, super-sparkly-girly,
Unfortunately, people will make assumptions and
not take her seriously. Frankly,
Stormy, Taryn, Caitlynn, and KayCee, Lainey, Bekkah
Blue and Summer Sunshine and the whole lot of them just
don’t SOUND like they should be taken seriously.
Women have enough trouble in this society… who
needs the additional handicap of a Fairy Princess Porn
Plus – and I know it’s horrible, but I’m
admitting it, okay? – when I was in Jr. Hi., it
seemed like most of the female special ed. students
had super-trendy fluffy stripper names: there was Ainsley,
Dovie, and Lexi. It just seemed inappropriate and goofy.
8) Don’t give your son a buff-studly-romance-novel-hero
Unfortunately, people will make assumptions and
not take him seriously either.
Buck Cody Berkowitz isn’t going to grow up to
look like Fabio and drive women wild. Cyrus Cade Adamski
won’t automatically be the BMOC football star.
Justus will be a scrawny geek and Xander will hate vampires
and all things gothic. Dakota Blaze will become a plumber
and Brazzen Brawley will work at Wal-Mart and Aiden
Chance will date-rape someone at a high-school party.
See, it seems like all of this Fluffy Girly/Macho Manly
name thing only emphasizes the fact that, no matter
what lip service we pay to equality and gender roles,
Americans are still pretty much living by the stereotypes
that girls are supposed to be super-feminine and boys
super-masculine, and there’s no happy medium.
Well, unless the super-trendy androgynous names qualify.